more from Baruch de Spinoza

Single Idea 4834

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 1. Physical Mind]

Full Idea

The idea of body and body, that is, mind and body, are one and the same individual conceived now under the attribute of thought, now under the attribute of extension.


'Extension' means occupying physical space

Gist of Idea

Mind and body are the same thing, sometimes seen as thought, and sometimes as extension


Baruch de Spinoza (The Ethics [1675], II Pr 21)

Book Reference

Spinoza,Benedict de: 'Ethics, Improvement of Understanding, Letters', ed/tr. Elwes,R [Dover 1955], p.102

A Reaction

This is an appealingly modern view, but a bit glib. Phenomenologically, the mind seen as thought and the body seen as extension are about as wildly different as it is possible to be. This needs explanation.